You have never given money to a missionary

We’ve had Thanksgiving (Thursday), Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and now – after all that commercialism! – it’s time for Giving Tuesday!

11209279926_05ac59aee3_zGiving Tuesday is a day where charities across the country – and around the world – invite people to give money to their favorite causes. In the United States in 2013 over $19 million was raised on this one day and all indications are that even more money will be raised this year.

I have been involved in nonprofit fundraising for several years and now have spent some time raising funds for the ministry we believe God has called us to in Costa Rica. Talking about money is generally not comfortable terrain. It’s awkward. We have often thought, “I don’t want to ask people to give us money.”

It wasn’t until I was preparing for a visit to a small group at our church this September, that God gave me this revelation: we are not asking people to give us money.

That may seem a little odd to you as you read this post surrounded by the “Partnership” tab and the “Financial Partnership” icon, but hear me out.

We firmly believe that the most practical thing that people can do for us is pray (more on that here). When we ask folks to partner with us in prayer we are saying: join us in depending on God. Commit with us to expend time and energy to present requests to God with thanksgiving (Philippians 4:6-7). Join us as we cast our anxieties on Him, knowing that he cares for us (1 Peter 5:7).

It would be inappropriate – even blasphemous – for us to end an invitation to join our team of prayer partners by asking that people pray to us. We are not asking for prayers to us, we are asking for prayers on our behalf. We do not control the world, God does. We cannot grant peace that passes understanding, God can. Our name is not a strong tower, God’s is.

6355836713_7ea15f733f_zAnd that’s why I say we are not asking people to give us money.

When we invite people to partner with us financially, we are saying: join us in depending on God. Consider committing with us to expend the resources God has entrusted to you in service of kingdom work in Costa Rica.

Exactly as it is with prayer, it would be inappropriate – even blasphemous – for us to end an invitation to join our team of financial partners by asking that people give money to us. We are inviting people to give God’s money back to Him on our behalf.

Everything we have comes from Him. Everything belongs to Him. When we invite folks to consider financial partnership, while we are involved in the request, it is not primarily about us. It is about the one who is invited and the God of the universe.

We are (truly) not expecting a particular result. We are (truly!) not offended when people say “no” or “not yet” (in fact, a gracious “no” can be very encouraging!) We are just issuing an invitation.

So as you consider giving this Giving Tuesday, while we’d love people to prayerfully consider partnering with us financially, it’s much more important to us that God’s people see all giving through the lens of the gospel. Giving is a response to an invitation to give God’s resources back to Him on behalf of kingdom work.

We pray for an explosion of gospel powered giving this Giving Tuesday and every day until He returns!

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